Wild Houston Film Fest

Major movie star's new Oscar contender brings early buzz to Houston's film festival: A Wild lineup sneak peek

Major movie star's new Oscar contender brings buzz to H-Town film fest

Houston Cinema Arts Festival 2014 Wild with Reese Witherspoon
In Wild, actress Reese Witherspoon portrays bestselling author Cheryl Strayed. Photo courtesy of Houston Cinema Arts Festival
Houston Cinema Arts Festival 2014 Dior and I
Dior and I brings the viewer inside the storied world of the Christian Dior fashion house. Photo courtesy of Houston Cinema Arts Festival
Houston Cinema Arts Festival 2014 Marcelo Gnomes
Brazilian guest director Marcelo Gomes will present two of his films: The Man of the Crowd and Once Upon a Time Veronica. Photo courtesy of Houston Cinema Arts Festival
Houston Cinema Arts Festival 2014 Through a Lens Darkly
Through a Lens Darkly explores the role of photography in shaping the identity, aspirations and social emergence of African-Americans from slavery to the present. Photo courtesy of Houston Cinema Arts Festival
Houston Cinema Arts Festival 2014 Born to Fly
Born to Fly traces the evolution of Elizabeth Streb’s movement philosophy. Photo courtesy of Houston Cinema Arts Festival
Houston Cinema Arts Fair 2014 Once Upon a Time Veronica
Once Upon a Time Veronica, directed by Marcelo Gomes, won five major awards at Brazil’s national film festival. Photo courtesy of Houston Cinema Arts Festival
Houston Cinema Arts Festival 2014 Elizabeth Streb
Elizabeth Streb, special guest choreographer. Photo courtesy of Houston Cinema Arts Festival
Houston Cinema Arts Festival 2014 Frederic Tcheng
The festival’s closing night film will feature a discussion with Dior and I director Frédéric Tcheng, pictured, moderated by Lynn Wyatt. Photo courtesy of Houston Cinema Arts Festival
Houston Cinema Arts Festival 2014 Wild with Reese Witherspoon
Houston Cinema Arts Festival 2014 Dior and I
Houston Cinema Arts Festival 2014 Marcelo Gnomes
Houston Cinema Arts Festival 2014 Through a Lens Darkly
Houston Cinema Arts Festival 2014 Born to Fly
Houston Cinema Arts Fair 2014 Once Upon a Time Veronica
Houston Cinema Arts Festival 2014 Elizabeth Streb
Houston Cinema Arts Festival 2014 Frederic Tcheng

A much-buzzed-about film that could garner Reese Witherspoon her second Oscar and an insider look at the first Dior collection under wunderkind designer Raf Simons are among 10 offerings that will have their regional premieres at the Sixth Annual Houston Cinema Arts Festival next month.

The Houston Cinema Arts Society released a list of the first batch of films that will shown at the festival Nov. 12-16 and it's an eclectic compilation that touches on dance, photography, literature and theater, along with two films presented by Brazilian director Marcelo Gomes. The lineup includes:

Wild

Dallas Buyers Club director Jean-Marc Vallée brings bestselling author Cheryl Stayed's extraordinary adventure to the screen. Witherspoon portrays Strayed, who after years of reckless behavior, a heroin addiction and the destruction of her marriage sets out to hike more than 1,000 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail all on her own. In what may be an Oscar-worthy feat, Laura Dern, who is 47, plays 38-year-old Witherspoon's mother.

Dior and I

Director Frédéric Tcheng's look at the storied world of the Christian Dior fashion house during Simons’ first haute couture collection will close the festival on Nov. 16. Lynn Wyatt will moderate a discussion with the director after the screening at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Born to Fly

Special guest choreographer Elizabeth Streb and director Catherine Gund will be on hand to discuss the movie, which traces the evolution of Streb’s movement philosophy as she pushes herself and her performers from the ground to the sky.

Through A Lens Darkly

The first documentary to explore the role of photography in shaping the identity, aspirations and social emergence of African-Americans from slavery to the present will screen at the historic El Dorado Ballroom on Nov. 13.

Muse of Fire

Two British actors, Dan Poole and Giles Terera, travel the world to find out everything they can about tackling Shakespeare, interviewing Dame Judi Dench, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Baz Luhrmann and Ralph Fiennes along the way.

Burroughs: The Movie

Director Howard Brookner’s 1983 documentary about writer William S. Burroughs, hidden in a bunker for 20 years, has been restored and will screen at the Houston Cinema Arts Festival on Nov. 14 to coincide with a screening at New York Film Festival at the same time.

The Man of the Crowd and Once Upon a Time Veronica

Brazilian director Marcelo Gomes, lauded by Neil Young of The Hollywood Reporter as one of the “front rank of South American filmmakers,” presents two of his highly-praised films. 

Exhibition 

The newest work from British artistic filmmaking sensation Joanna Hogg stars Turner Prize-nominated artist Liam Gillick and Viv Albertine of the female punk band The Slits as two married artists living in a West London home designed by the late architect James Melvin, to whom the film is dedicated.

A Thousand Suns

Shot in Dakar, Senegal, director Mati Diop explores actor Magaye Niang’s life 40 years after he starred in Touki Bouki, the classic African film directed by Diop's uncle, Djibril Diop Mambety, in 1973. 

The rest of the programming for HCAF 2014 will be announced Oct. 21 at the Sam Houston Hotel during the Festival Launch Party.